Justice: First Nations People

We accept the invitation of the Uluru Statement from the Heart and support a First Nations Voice to Parliament enshrined in the Australian Constitution. We commit to learning from the First Peoples of this land now called Australia, and humbly share some resources below that we have found helpful.

There are few issues as important today as how we can best recognise and respect the first peoples and promote their well-being. How do we as Christians seek to live as people of reconciliation? How can we walk and live together as people of compassion, justice, peace and hope?

Our congregation is developing a Walking Together plan and you can scroll down to read our blog about some of the other ways we are expanding our cultural knowledge in the stories that are grouped below the resource list. 

Towards a Voice to Parliament

Resources to help us

become better allies

Have you read the Uluru Statement from the Heart? It’s a great place to start. Take a few minutes to sit quietly and engage fully with this important invitation to the nation to create a better future. 

Common Grace: Treaty

This beautiful, captivating animation illustrates why treaty is needed (2min 47sec; watch here). It is brought to you by Common Grace, a movement of people pursuing Jesus and justice. You can find more of their resources and activities on their Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Justice page here.

Webinar: discussion panel

The panel of indigenous leaders and historians engage in a respectful and robust discussion around the Statement and explore the place of history and truth telling in working toward that Makarrata which is the ‘coming together after a struggle’ for the sake of a more just and self-determined future for First Nations people.

Panel Members: Nathan Tyson (Anaiwon/Gomeroi man and Manager, First Peoples Strategy and Engagement in the NSW/ACT Synod); Rev Emily Hayes (John Flynn Memorial Church, Alice Springs); Dr Laura Rademaker (Historian at ANU: author of ‘Found in Translation: Many Meanings on a North Australian Mission’); and the Rev Tim Matton-Johnson (Panninher man, currently living on Mumirimina country). The webinar was recorded live on 21 July 2022, and you can watch it here (1hr 33min).

Webinar: Pat Anderson

and Megan Davis

The winner of the 2021-22 Sydney Peace Prize was the Uluru Statement from the Heart. Join First Nations leaders Pat Anderson AO and Professor Megan Davis in conversation about the Uluru Statement from the Heart and its three objectives: a Voice to Parliament, Treaty, and Truth. The webinar was presented on 3rd Aug, 2022, and you can watch or listen to it here. (1hr)

Documentaries

Make time to watch “The Australian Wars” on SBS: so far there are 3 episodes scheduled to air of approx 1hr each. “The First Australians” documentary series on SBS tells the history of Australia from an Indigenous peoples’ perspective with seven episodes of 52 mins each.

Sovereignty and Treaty:

a discussion guide

Sovereignty is about honouring those who were here first and starting to negotiate a new way for us to occupy this land together. It raises many issues and questions, challenging assumptions and beliefs. Maybe if we can name what the issues are for us – what we are curious about, what we fear, what we want to know – we can have a more open conversation. Rev Dr Chris Budden offers this 4-page guide for meaningful discussions and reflection in small groups or on your own.

Fact check: a third chamber?

Some politicians and pundits claim the Voice to Parliament would be a ‘third chamber’. Five constitutional law experts weigh in to answer this question: Will the Voice be a third Chamber? (ABC news written article, 23/09/22, 5min read here)

Boyer Lecture 2022

Do make time to either watch or listen to the first of this year’s Boyer lectures, in which Indigenous community leader, lawyer, academic and land rights activist Noel Pearson reflects on “Who we were and who we can be”.  (29 mins) Watch on iView here or listen on Radio National here.

Faith leads to action

Voice and the Church

Voice and the Church

John H. tells a little of his experience when attending the “Voice and the Church” conference presented by Scarred Tree Indigenous Ministries at St John’s Anglican Church in Glebe.

Book Club adds cultural learning

Book Club adds cultural learning

Book club members speak about their journey of learning and growing in their understanding of our history, and how this has changed their thinking and provided direction for the future.

NAIDOC 2022 at Cronulla

NAIDOC 2022 at Cronulla

Margaret describes her enjoyment of the local council celebrations for NAIDOC week, attending as part of a group from our congregation.

Book Club

Book Club

Next meeting: Wed 15th Feb 2023, and every 3rd Wed of the month. There is both a morning group (10-11.30am) and an evening group (7.30-9pm).

You are warmly invited to join our community book club as we seek to educate ourselves on our First Nations peoples, past and present.

January 26th

January 26th

How does the church respond to the historical and current events of 26th January in Australia? What role can it play in promoting justice and reconciliation?

Aboriginal Sunday/Day of Mourning

Aboriginal Sunday/Day of Mourning

Each year the Uniting Church marks a Day of Mourning to reflect on the dispossession of Australia’s First Peoples and the ongoing injustices faced by First Nations people in this land. Today, you are  invited  to  reflect on the effects of invasion and colonisation on First Peoples.

Aboriginal Sunday: Day of Mourning

Aboriginal Sunday: Day of Mourning

Event: 23rd January 2022
Sunday 9.00-10.15am

You are invited to read and watch our third annual service to reflect upon and lament the effect of the invasion and colonisation of this nation upon First Peoples, using resources from the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress of the Uniting Church, and from the organisation Common Grace.

#Change the Heart live simulcast

#Change the Heart live simulcast

Event: Tuesday 25th Jan, 2022
7.30-9.00pm

We watched the #ChangeTheHeart simulcast then met online to discuss about what we have learned and how we respond, followed by a time of prayer.

NAIDOC Week 2021

NAIDOC Week 2021

Learn and act: resources to read, watch, petition, pray and give.